We’re underway. Ya boys got a point on the road, blew a lead, caused way-too-early panic, took too many penalties. In other words, situation normal.
1) Time of possession in the first period: 19:00 to 1:00.
2) Captain Callahan giveth and taketh away. He was pretty fabulous except for the cough-up on the first goal. Then he started firing away and hitting people and scored a ridiculous goal from the below the goal line. (ps, How did that puck go in, Joe? It went in because just about every goalie in the whole league plays on his knees and therefore doesn’t get square on bad-angle shots … and that’s why there are more bad-angle goals now than ever before). Nice debut with the “C.”
3) I thought a bunch of guys played really well, but each one had a “but” like Callahan with the turnover (maybe the awful ice was to blame). Examples to follow:
4) Marian Gaborik-Brad Richards really meshed. Richards gets to a ton of pucks, uses body position to do so, and does something with the puck quickly once he gets it. Good debut. Gaborik scored a garbage goal, had a bunch of chances, worked hard, played a dirty game—all the things he didn’t do last year. But he and Richards came to the rink around 1:35.
5) Michael Del Zotto was strong in his own end, physical, made some very good passes (and a few bad ones), and I liked him and Mike Sauer together. But Del Zotto didn’t tie up Mike Richards on the tying goal.
6) Dan “Block Ness Monster” Girardi was a horse, but he once again slid on his belly and failed to break up a 2-on-1 on the Callahan giveaway, thus making it a 2-on-none. He slid across on the GWG, too, but that was down low on a 4-on-3 PP and you really couldn’t fault him there.
7) Ryan McMonster also had a terrific game in his new spot on the No. 1 pair, but took a dumb penalty that cost the Rangers the game. It’s a soft, questionable call, but you cannot take your hand off your stick and grab. That gets called every time.
8) Speaking of which, isn’t this game just another example of the pansification of hockey today? My God. I mean, Del Zotto was angry at himself for not tying up Richards’ stick on the tying goal, but if he had, he probably would have been sent to the box, too. Flag hockey.
9) Looked like Brandon Prust’s shoulder was OK in that fight with Clifford. Worst part was international TV feed cutting to the crowd. Best part of that was the camera caught Blogmama in the crowd (wearing her alternate Avery jersey).
10) Again with the penalties. The Rangers’ bad habit started during the preseason games and carried right over, and it had better stop really soon. Power plays were 5-1 for the Kings. That spells lost points almost every time.
11) They can show those Adam Graves Garden of Dreams commercials as many times as they want, as far as I’m concerned.
12) If the Rangers get a point a game through these first seven games, will you be happy?
My Three NYR Stars: 1) Ryan Callahan. 2) Brandon Dubinsky. 3) Henrik Lundqvist. I thought Dubinsky was the most consistent player the Rangers had, besides the keeper.
AP Photo, above.